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I am fairly set against pinatas for little kids - more
often than not
they lead to tears and squabbles. They never break, you
have to keep
little heads out of the way of the bat, and little kids
upset (bashing snow white's head off), and then there's
the fight for the
candy. If you really feel devoted to pinatas, consider:
so they might actually break, and: rather than having
each little kid
fight the other one for their scrap of candy, have them
all scoop up the
candy into one big basket. Then you can give them their
own little bags
into which you scoop a handful from the basket. The kids
cooperating in filling the basket, and there's less
squabbling over who
got more than whom.
I was just reading one of the suggestions about 4 year
old parties and noted
the negative comments about pinatas. I have always
agreed until a recent
party for a 4 year old girl. The parents had bought a
pinata with ribbons
attached. Instead of banging away with a stick, each
child pulled a ribbon
until eventually the bottom was pulled out and the candy
fell. The kids
Where to get a Pinata
Would anyone have suggestions on where there is a good selection of pinatas for
boys and ideas for birthday party games for 3 year olds? thank you for your time
I have seen a good selection of Pinatas (not sure about ones specifically for
boys) at the Toys R Us (in Emeryville) and at the Michaels (in San Leandro).
Pinatas of all shapes and sizes can be found in various stores on East 14th (international
blvd) near Fruitvale in Oakland, though I am not sure what makes a boy pinata
as opposed to a girl pinata. . I also found nice pinatas (much more expensive)
at Cost Plus and www.birthdayexpress.com.
We had a quite fabulous Alien pinata last year!
Paper Plus, formerly Papyrus Seconds, 1643 San Pablo in Berkeley, tends to have
pretty good, cheap pinatas, although whether their pinatas are "for boys"
I do not know. (What does a three-year-old boy's pinata look like, anyway? As
I recall, at that age anything will do as long as it's full of candy.) The other
PPs, on Center in downtown Berkeley, and on College in the Elmwood, might have
pinatas as well.
I've looked at pinatas for my son's parties at Mr. Mopp's, the party store on
Solano between Fresno and The Alameda, and a place on
Center between Shattuck and Oxford (Discount Paper Plus, or something like that).
They all have the same prices, but the largest selection is at the place on Center.
I found a "pull string" pinatas for my son's 1st birthday (2/25) at
the Party Warehouse on Oak St in Oakland. It looks just like the typical pinata.
This type of pinata is great for the smaller kids because instead of hitting it
with a stick the children take turns pulling one of about 15 strings hanging from
beneath the pinata and only one string opens the trap door to release the candy
inside. I tied small toys and lollipops to the end of each string to make it easier
for them to grasp. My son's birthday is Saturday and he's already tried to pull
the strings out. With this one, he can participate without getting hurt by a flying
stick! FYI, I had to go back twice because the salesperson sold me the wrong kind
when I asked for the pullstring type. Make sure you get the one with multiple
ribbons attached in rows below NOT just decorative crepe paper which will obviously
tear when pulled.
I have bought all of my son's pinatas from the "Party Warehouse" near
Jack London square,221 Oak Street, phone (893-1951). If you call them for directions,
I'm sure they would be happy to give them to you. Happy Hunting! God Bless!
Pinata Filler Ideas
My daughter wants a pinata for her birthday. I like the pull string kind, but still have qualms about all that candy. Or the junky plastic toys that get chucked the
next day. Does anyone have any suggestions for healthy snacks or other groovy ideas for filling the pinata? thanks. Hilary
I'd go with the plastic toys, but then I think everything gets thrown out
the next day whether it's any good or not. But here's another idea for the
pinata. As each child comes in to the party, give them a sticker for their
clothes or whatever. Then, fill small plastic bags with the favors and put a
sticker on each, then put those in the pinata. This way, kids search for
their "match" (you could also write names on the bags instead) without as
much of a mad rush and conflict over what's fallen on the ground.
I've read about people combining a dose of candy with
fun toiletries such as travel toothpaste and little
toothbrushes with the Rugrats and whatnot on them.
Maybe at Costco it wouldn't be so expensive? Bottles
of bubbles might not be bad, although they are heavy
and you'd have to be sure nobody got clocked. A friend
turned us on to Fruit Leathers, a dried fruit strip
you can get at Andronicos. Maybe some loud
noisemakers, such as those traditional birthday
horns.... Perhaps fun pens, pencils or tiny tablets.
Mood rings are fun, or Mardi Gras sorts of bead
I was at a party for a five or six year-old. It was a spaceship theme party
and the pinata was a spaceship filled with little aliens. One alien for each kid,
so no fighting over who go what. The toys were nice stuffed bean bag type things
that were very cute and without plastic! The kids did not seem disappointed to not
We once went to a party where the mom had made really nice little party bags
- one for each child attending and those were in the pinata. This also
stopped the rudeness, madness and grabbing for candy or toys that usually
happens with a pinata - the part where someone gets hurt feelings and it
seems as though some kids get more and others less. By doing these bags, each
child gets a nice little bag and it's all fair. As to what you put in the bag
- that's the challenge! The children's ages and interests, and the party
theme are a good guide. Tiny lego sets, colorful gel pens, one sweet treat,
and whatever else you can think of that has a longer shelf life than some of
the usual junk... good luck and happy birthday!
Try fruit roll-ups (the organic kind From El Cerrito Natural), small
bags of nuts, little boxes of raisins or little "treasures" like
those found at The Ark at the old Hearthsong site on 4th Street.
I saw some beautiful stones, marbles and other trinkets there. It
will cost more, but be appreciated much more, too -- especially by
something we tried last year was putting various types of prizes into
plastic easter eggs and filling the pinata with them ... the biggest
hit was coins (not sure if that's "groovy" per se -- but even eleven
year olds still get pretty excited about quarters and the golden
dollars had them positively ecstatic) ... but you could as easily
fill them with dried fruit or glitter or confetti or stickers.
Attractive (e.g., mylar, glitter, bright colors) pencils
Sticks of modeling clay or other modest craft supplies
Little boxes of crayons
Packets of flower/herb seeds
Little packets of nuts/raisins/trail mixish stuff (check beforehand
to make sure none of the kids are allergic to nuts)
Those little tin pins shaped like butterflies and other insects
put them in small plastic bags, so no one gets punctured)
Votive or novelty candles
Don't know where you live, but the Paper Outlet stores in Berkeley on
San Pablo, Center, and College have inexpensive stationary and party
supplies such as pencils, erasers, balloons, candles, and stickers.
So do the Grocery Outlet (aka Canned Foods) stores on Fifth in
Berkeley and on Broadway in Oakland. Mr. Mopps on MLK Jr. Way
Berkeley) also stocks bags of cheap small toys, some of them decent
quality: little rubber animals and that sort of thing.
Here's what we do. Before a birthday party we go around and collect all the junky party favors, figurines, and burger king toys the kids are no longer interested in. We make "party bags" using plain paper bags, divide up the goods (sometimes we supplement with notepads, rubber balls, pencils, and even a piece of leftover halloween candy or two...) roll them up, and stuff the pinata with them. When the pinata breaks each kid gets one bag so the big kids aren't shoving the little kids out of the way for more loot. Neither the kids nor the parents seem to mind the "recycled" goods. The kids are already getting cake and ice cream, so no need for even more sugar, IMHO.
this page was last updated: Aug 2, 2007
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